US arrests al-Qaida figure blamed in kidnappings

The US military has announced the arrest of an al-Qaida figure who allegedly planned the 2006 kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll. A statement Sunday says Salim Abdullah Ashur al-Shujayri was captured during an Aug. 11 operation. It adds he is also known as Abu Othman. The military says al-Shujayri is believed to be "the planner behind the kidnapping" of Carroll. She was a Christian Science Monitor reporter seized Jan. 7, 2006 and freed three months later. The statement also says al-Shujayri's associates were involved in the high-profile kidnappings of Christian peace activists and British aid worker Margaret Hassan. Hassan was abducted in Baghdad in October 2004 and later killed, although her body was never found.